Mark and I started trying for our little family way back in 2006. We had so many let downs. So many tears. So much pain. So much false optimism. I went to so many doctors. Got the run around so many times. It took a lot to get Elliot here. It took a lot of fighting on my part. To put it bluntly, I wouldn't shut the fuck up until my child was here. ALIVE.
Infertility is truly a silent battle. If you know of a woman with infertility, she wears a badge of honor and courage. Most women keep it a complete secret. Our society, even still today, somehow has a way of defining women. What? You're married? No children yet? When? Or most recently, three of my gal pals have married a man with children from a previous marriage and all three of these women are questioned with, "When will you have one of your own?" Inappropriate. Sometimes, when dealing with infertility, you wish you had a taser gun, just shoot someone in the throat to shut them up for a bit. Some people have no filter. No tact.
After having Elliot, my thyroid went completely nuts and it was pretty much understood at that point and time that Elliot would be our one and only. And my heavens we were fine with that! Truly! But then... this past January we discovered we were pregnant. And wow. What a shock! My thyroid and PCOS had/have been behaving due to me staying focused on my diet and exercise regimen. And I would be a liar if I didn't admit I felt guilt with my joy. Why me? Seriously, why me? I know so many women who are waiting for their miracle and here I am a cliche .... I got pregnant "without trying" to do so. And to be honest, after having Elliot, and after becoming pregnant again, I've lost some friends. There were no fights, no quarrels, no arguments... just peaceful partings because it's just too hard for some women. It's just TOO. HARD. And I understand this. I truly comprehend it.
However, I think it is important for anyone reading this to know several things.
- I will never stop advocating for women with PCOS.
- When I was pregnant with Elliot, there was not one night I missed where I would sit and rub my belly and pray for him but also pray for women still waiting.
- Now that I'm pregnant with number two, I find myself praying even harder each night, praying more and more for the women I know and the women in the world I haven't met struggling with infertility on any level.
- I will never forget my journey. I am aware that "I lucked out."
- There's not one day that goes by where I do not thank God for where I am.
- I will continue to help women and be a resource and guide to women who are still fighting.
- I want you the reader to know that if there is someone in your life who is struggling.... to feel free to send them my way.... I may be able to help. But I will never pry into someones life. Infertility is a dark area. One simply does not start a conversation with, "Why aren't you a mom yet?" You just don't go there.
- I will always fight and continue to work with women who are struggling.
This year especially during Infertility Awareness Week, I find myself thinking about baby Abigail Faith. Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that on September 18th, I helped friends Josh and Kelly welcome their beautiful baby girl into this world. She was born at 7:57pm and died at precisely 8:30pm. I was able to bless baby twice, once at mama's breast, and once when she passed. Kelly and Josh are presently expecting again, due this summer, but we'd all be liars if we said we weren't afraid. This experience changed my life. I will never forget Kelly's bravery during labor. I will never forget the silence of it all. I will never forget Abigail's cries. And I'll never forget the smile on her face when she stopped breathing.
You see, infertility awareness week isn't just about not being able to get pregnant, it's so much more. It's about women who long for a child.... it's about women who miscarry, it's about women who give birth to still borns.... it's about trying to find grace and peace in the midst of darkness and heartache.
It's about holding hands.
It's about facing the silence.
It's about staying strong for others.
It's about tough conversations.
It's about faith.
It's about believing.
It's about determination.
It's about knowing that one day... one day... the suffering will stop.
This is something I will never shut up about. Ever.